BC strata lands in hot water after leak causes corrosive damage to vehicle

May 3 2023, 5:52 pm

A strata corporation wound up in BC court after a leak in the building parkade ceiling caused corrosive damage to a vehicle.

The vehicle belonged to Vikki Lorraine Hopes, who said that while insurance covered the damage the leaking ceiling caused, she wanted the strata to reimburse her for the deductible, which was $300.

Meanwhile, the strata argued that it wasn’t responsible for the deductible because it was not negligent.

Hopes disagreed. Hopes represented herself in a small claims case at a BC Civil Resolution Tribunal hearing, while a strata council member represented the strata.

Damage was caused to Hopes’ vehicle in late 2021 and early 2022.

Contrary to what the strata said about not being negligent, Hopes suggested that the strata knew about the cracks and leaks in the parkade since 2019 and that it should have anticipated that vehicles parked under the leaks could be damaged.

Hopes also said that the strata shouldn’t have allowed cars to park in the impacted spots.

The strata didn’t dispute Hopes’ claims that it knew about some parkade leaks. Instead, it added that the leaks amounted to “warrantable defects,” which it reported to the warranty provider, but was not responsible for delays by said provider.

According to court docs, the tribunal member overseeing the case said the evidence didn’t show that the strata ever advised owners, tenants or residents about the parkade cracks before Hopes’ vehicle was damaged.

The tribunal member seemed to agree with Hopes that the strata was negligent, stating, “I find that had the strata advised owners, tenants, residents and other parkade users of the parkade’s ceiling cracks, leaks and staining, Ms. Hopes would likely have parked elsewhere. The strata also does not dispute that Ms. Hopes paid a $300 deductible for her vehicle’s damage repairs, and the documentary proves she did so. Therefore, I find the strata must reimburse Ms. Hopes $300 for her paid deductible.”

In the end, the strata paid Hopes $432.49, which included the $300 deductible reimbursement, $7.49 in pre-judgement interest, and $125 in CRT fees.

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